May 26, 2014
Have you noticed the interesting juxtaposition on TV and the internet of all the Memorial Day celebrations we enjoy? Car Sales, cookouts, days off from work, side-by-side with war movies and parades reminding us of how those celebrations were made possible.
A few days ago, soldiers from “The Old Guard” placed 220,000 flags on the graves of soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Two hundred twenty thousand: a number that doesn’t include the fallen who are buried in the other 130 National Cemeteries, or in their home towns…and that’s just the United States. Soldiers from the Revolutionary War, Afghanistan and all our wars in between are at Arlington. Six hundred and twenty-four acres of gravesites… just at this one cemetery.
We know Memorial day is more than our “kick-off” to summer fun; we do respect and remember what it’s all about. And won’t it be nice to look back, many years from now, and see this day as a transition…a learning period…when our soldiers fell teaching us that war isn’t the way to peace.
Maybe it’s time to decide what the real “right side of history” is, and look at our priorities – balancing budgets between Defense (fighting the war), State (preventing the war) and Veterans Administration (repairing the wounds of war).
Perhaps the day will come when we celebrate Memorial Day as the day we remembered War is not the way to Peace. Peace is the way to Peace.
In the meantime, in the mixed emotions of gratitude and hope, maybe we should also weep.
Much love to all,